We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us.
— Romans 5:3-5
- (Photo: Harvest Ministries)
The fact that God has chosen us, has forgiven us, and has given us free access into His presence means that our existence isn't some cosmic accident, and that our lives are guided neither by chance nor luck, neither by fate nor karma. It means we are guided by His providence.
There is, therefore, real meaning and purpose when I go through tribulation. It is not for nothing. Before we met Christ, we might have thought of hardships or difficulties as random effects of nature and something merely to be endured. But now we can know that God is in control of all circumstances that surround our lives as believers.
As Paul said, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance." (Romans 5:3 NLT). Paul wasn't simply gritting his teeth and enduring these experiences; he was glorying in them. This doesn't mean that Paul was a masochist. He had made a choice. When he was going through hardship, he decided that he wasn't going to become bitter; he was going to become better.
We have the same choice. When difficult days come, we can get mad at God and turn away from Him, or we can embrace that difficulty and attempt to learn what He seeks to teach us.
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